MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
Feb. 15, 2018
Taped from Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on Pop TV
Announcers: Josh Mathews & Sonjay Dutt
Immediately following tonight’s Impact Wrestling, tune in to the PWTorch Livecast. Mike McMahon and Andrew Soucek will discuss tonight’s show with callers. Listen at www.pwtorchlivecast.com and call the show at 515-605-9345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
— The Impact Global signature aired.
— Highlights from last week aired.
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. SAMI CALLAHAN (w/ OVE)
The bell rang and Lashley charged Callahan in the corner. After some action on the outside, Lashley nearly beat a 10 count back into the ring. Lashley hit Callahan with a delayed vertical suplex. Callahan dumped Lashley to the outside where OVE got some shots in on Lashley. Callahan did a lap around the ring and Lashley caught Callahan with a spear.
Callahan and Lashley are trading right hands when the action picked up out of the commercial break. Lashley dropped Callahan with a clothesline. Lashley shot in on Callahan, and the OVE leader caught him in a choke. Lashley powered out of the choke and countered into a power slam for a two count. Callahan bit Lashley in the corner. Lashley was turned upside down in the corner and Callahan superkicked him through his legs and hit a power bomb for a two count. Lashley picked up Callahan for another power slam and then set up for the spear, turning Callahan inside out but OVE broke up the pin.
WINNER: Lashley via DQ in 14:00.
After the bell, Dave and Jake Crist kept laying the boots on Lashley. The Crist brothers choked Lashley on the mat. Eddie Edwards hit the ring and cleared OVE out of the ring with a couple of clotheslines. Edwards threw the other Crist brother into Lashley, who caught him and threw him to the outside. Edwards and Lashley stood tall in the ring while OVE retreated up the ramp.
McMahon: Lashley and Edwards will make an interesting team. This was a solid opening match. I don’t normally like DQ finishes, but I liked the DQ finish here. It fit and made sense, and also allowed for Edwards to come into the story. Plus, with OVE on the outside, it makes sense they would interfere when it looked like Callahan was going to be in trouble. I’m also glad they’re going in the direction of giving Lashley a partner. Knowing that he’s on his way out of the company, I don’t think it would have done OVE any good to feud with Lashley as a singles wrestler. Either they beat one man, and they should, as a group. Or, they lose to one man. It wouldn’t fit.
— McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Eli Drake with Chris Adonis backstage.
— A video aired on Brian Cage, who will debut later in the show.
— LAX was in their clubhouse backstage. Konnan told Homicide that he needed to expand operations. Konnan said that Homicide did some good things in Tijuana and he wanted him to go somewhere else to expand operations. Santana said he had a good hand (they were playing poker).
— Scenes from the Braxton Sutter-Laurel Van Ness wedding aired as the GWN Flashback of the Week.
— Allie was shown arriving at the Impact Zone. A post-it note appeared on her bag. The note told Allie where to meet her secret admirer.
— Austin Aries was interviewed backstage about his title defense tonight. He said he’s been collecting championships all around the world. Aries said that Drake has never been in the ring with someone as good as Aries, and he would retain the title tonight.
— A promo aired for Impact at WrestleCon.
— McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Moose about Alberto El Patron. In the middle of the interview, El Patron attacked Moose and they brawled backstage on the interview set. The segment ended with the cameraman got knocked down.
McMahon: That was a nice little wrinkle with the camera going out after the cameraman got knocked down. Impact, under the new creative team, has used some new twists like this when it comes to transitions.
(2) HANIA vs. ROSEMARY
Hania jumped Rosemary before the bell, while the lights were still out. The bell rang and Rosemary had taken control back. Hania choked Rosemary in the corner. Hania hit a spinning heel kick for a two count. Hania had Rosemary on the mat but didn’t go for the cover, despite Sonjay Dutt’s thoughts that she should. Hania kicked Rosemary across the back of the shoulders. Hania hit a cross body but Rosemary rolled through and caught Hania.
WINNER: Rosemary in 4:00.
After the match, Hania attacked Rosemary from behind. The referee yelled at Hania not to do it, or she would get fined. Hania threw Rosemary to the outside. Hania threw Rosemary into the steps. Hania set up Rosemary for the reverse DDT on the steps but Rosemary bit Hania’s arm to escape and then Rosemary tried for Red Wedding on the outside but Hania escaped and ran up the ramp. Rosemary said, “better get your shots, sweetie.”
McMahon: Two things. First, the little one-liner from the referee for Hania to stop the attack or she would get fined was awesome! Yes! That’s what the official should say! Keep it real. Rosemary’s line telling Hania to get her shots was also awesome. I’m glad that the camera was close enough to clearly pick that up. That’s another new production element that feels only slightly different, but definitely new. The camera got in real tight on Rosemary before she said the line.
— Matt Sydal was trying to help Johnny Impact stretch out. Impact said he couldn’t do it, but Sydal said his spiritual adviser insists this is how you “open up your third eye.”
— Backstage, ECIII welcomed back Tyrus.
— Allie was backstage waiting for her secret admirer. Then, she found a box of chocolates and a note.As Allie is reading the note, Laurel Van Ness popped out of a box and Allie turned around, nailing her with the box of chocolates. Allie and LVN brawled. Allie then threw LVN back in the box and kicked it.
(3) ECIII & TYRUS vs. JOHNNY IMPACT & MATT SYDAL
The crowd chanted, “Welcome Back!” at Tyrus. Sydal and ECIII started the match. Sydal threw kicks at ECIII’s legs before Impact tagged in. Mathews and Sonjay wondered who Sydal’s “spiritual adviser” was. Tyrus tagged in and took out both Sydal and Impact. Later, Impact flipped into the ring over the top of Tyrus and then tagged in Sydal who threw kicks at Tyrus. Sydal hit a standing moonsault but Tyrus threw him off. Tyrus hit Sydal with a heart punch. Mathews said that move was only legal in Florida. ECIII and Tyrus pulled apart Sydal with a wishbone. ECIII hit Sydal with a delayed vertical suplex. Tyrus splashed Sydal in the corner. Tyrus missed a Vader Bomb. Mathews plugged all of Tyrus’ other projects. Impact and ECIII tagged in and the pace picked up quite a bit. Impact hit ECIII with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Impact was clotheslined over the top rope. Sydal ran in and kicked ECIII in the jaw, sending him to the mat. Sydal went to the top rope and dove to the outside on Tyrus instead of trying for the shooting star press. Tyrus caught Sydal and threw him into the apron. In the ring, ECIII . missed a splash on Impact. ECIII rolled up Impact and got the win with his feet on the ropes.
WINNER: ECIII & Tyrus in 8:00.
ECIII and Tyrus celebrated on the outside after the match. Sydal and Impact looked stunned inside the ring.
McMahon: Bringing Tyrus back is a fine addition for Impact. He’s not a main-eventer and it’s not going to move the needle, but Impact is in a position where it’s losing so many wrestlers with name value, it makes sense to try to bring some in to replace those stars who are leaving. The old regime also woefully misused Tyrus, so hopefully they can get him going in the right direction as a monster heel.
— Austin Aries was shown warming up backstage.
— Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong went to Park, Park & Park to search for Abyss. They trashed the office, and Jacobs said, “he’ll get the message.
(4) BRIAN CAGE vs. JOHN CRUZ
Cruz was sent flying with a shoulder tackle. Cage smothered Cruz in the corner. Sonjay said Cruz will make history today by being Cage’s first victim. Cage hit Cruz with a power bomb and then pulled him back up with a buckle bomb. Cage hit a spinning discus clothesline. Cage hit the Lucha Destroyer for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 1:00.
McMahon: Umm, wow. Cruz was the perfect first opponent. He wasn’t quite James Ellsworth, but he was short and skinny (no offense to him) with little muscle tone. Cage looked incredibly impressive. He hit all of his big moves and he looked like a star. I was a little skeptical of how he would come across in Impact, but for a brand that is desperate for stars, they have one in Cage as long as they continue to treat him like one. The only thing I didn’t like about the segment was how quickly they cut to Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley backstage. They didn’t let that moment breathe enough.
— Backstage, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley were cutting a promo on LAX. They opened a door and saw Fallah Bahh eating M&Ms. Lee and Konley saw the Mumbai Cats and attacked them from behind. Lee and Konley pulled off the masks to reveal two random, doughy guys we’ve never seen before.
(5) EL HIJO DEL FANTASMA vs. TAIJI ISHIMORI – Impact X Division Title match
Fantasma and Ishimori locked up to begin the match.
Back from the break, Fantasma caught Ishimori and tried for flip but he escaped and Fantasma threw a kick. Fantasma hit a dive to the outside. Ishimori flipped off the apron, ran up the ramp and then charged down the ramp and hit Fantasma with a hurricanrana. Ishimori hit a moonsault off the top rope to the outside. Ishimori hit Fantasma with the double knees. Ishimori hit the 450 for the win.
WINNER: Taihi Ishimori retains in 13:00.
(6) AUSTIN ARIES vs. ELI DRAKE — Impact World Title match
Aries came to the ring with the IPW:UK Title belt as well. After early lockups, Aries hit a pair of arm drags on Eli Drake and then nailed him with a dropkick. Drake regained control with jabs in the corner.
Back from the break, Aries hit an elbow on Drake. Aries missed a knee and Drake was back in control. Drake hit a springboard moonsault. Aries rang Drake’s ears after he tried for a Gravy Train. Aries rolled up Drake for a two count. Aries hit a forearm from the outside. Aries went to the top rope but Drake sprung up for a superplex. Drake held on for a Gravy Train but he only got a two count. Drake hit the top rope without using his hands. Aries hit a dropkick in the corner. Drake countered out of the brain buster. Aries dove to the outside, taking out Adonis. Drake snatched Aries and threw him onto the apron. Aries was able to lock in a submission but Adonis jumped on the apron and Aries saw him, let go of the hold and attacked Adonis. Drake went for a rollup for a two count. Aries hit the brain buster for the win.
WINNER: Austin Aries retained in 18:00.
McMahon: Aries brought out the best in Drake, who has always been really good on the mic and a work in progress as far as in-ring work. This might have been Drake’s best match in Impact. His leap to the top rope was really impressive. Drake’s timing was really good and while he’s due a lot of the credit, I think being in there opposite someone like Aries definitely helps. This was a really solid main event that. You can argue Impact needs more star power, because it’s probably the lowest it has been since the company’s inception, but this was a really solid main event. The false finishes towards the end were well put together and believable. Very good match all-around and it highlights what was, in my opinion, the best shows of the “new era” thus far.